Friday, January 27, 2012

Options: When to Limit Them

The Princess hasn’t cooperated in therapy her last two sessions.  Both times, we’ve wasted our therapist’s time and our money.  She is going through a lot and has decided she must seize control of all situations in whatever ways she can.  We’ve tried all the therapeutic techniques we can, but little seems to be helping lately.  After her therapy session last week, I talked with our therapist.  I knew we couldn’t make The Princess participate.  I also knew the therapist wasn’t going to keep seeing her if she didn’t start working again.

Because we’ve been struggling, and because some of The Princess’ struggles have been public, community-based services were ramped up for her and for me this month.  She is considered “at risk.”  This means a couple of social workers are involved in our lives.  One of them saw her for an hour yesterday.  This social worker told The Princess that if she didn’t start cooperating in therapy, she wouldn’t be able to go to therapy any more.  (Yeah.  I heard you say, “UGH” just like I said it when she GLEEFULLY told me last night that she wouldn't have to go to therapy anymore, looking at me with a face that screamed, “Ha!”)

You know, there is a reason I didn’t tell The Princess about this option.  She NEEDS to work on some things.  I need help for her.  And I limit options I know are not good for her.

So, I talked.  I explained that her behavior lately was very concerning to me, her Dad, her brothers, and to our therapist and the social workers.  I explained that is why these people want to see her more often right now.  I explained why we have a medicine check appointment next week.  I explained that working through these things now, while she was young, was much better than trying to work through them later when she’s older.  I reminded her how adults behave who have unresolved issues.  I reminded her that she’s been hurt and that we can’t just bury that hurt inside – that it comes out in places like at the restaurant the other night and at the zoo last month.  I told her we all loved her and wanted the best for her.  I told her God loved her and had given us both some pretty specific instructions about how to behave with one another.  I also told her that I would not allow quitting therapy to be an option.  We would still do it, one way or another.

If you happen think of us, would you say a prayer for us from time-to-time?  Pray for The Princess' therapy appointment next week, as well as her med check appointment.  Pray she cooperates.  Pray for wisdom for me on how best to handle things with her.  I still have much to learn. 


Anonymous said...

My thought is that you and the therapist pre arrange to have a wonderful "acting" session. Princess doesn't have to say a thing. She gets to listen to you and the therapist express, ever so calmly, ever so sweetly, puncutated with many heartfelt sighs, about how it is simply just too bad, so sad that Princess is sinking in quicksand won't grab any of the ropes thrown to her. That choosing to do nothing is a choice. That these were the kind of non choice choices that the adults in her life made in regards to her. And that you all thought she was a much stronger person than those people. Perhaps you were wrong. Sigh, sigh, sigh."
Lain - Mum to her own prickly polish princess of active passivity

CherubMamma said...

praying for you!

Annie said...

That seems crazy! They are treating her like a grown up, for one thing....who is expected to make her own decisions - and capable of it!

Are you present at therapy? How long has she been going to this therapist? A therapist who is refusing to see a patient after a couple of non-productive sessions makes me raise an eyebrow, frankly. The Princess is not like an adult who seeks therapy for acknowledged problems, she is a CHILD who needs to be led through the development she missed when she was younger. She's a CHILD. And, even if she wasn't - don't we all get "stuck"? That therapist ought to have a bag of tricks to use with patients who get into this frame of mind. This frame of mind is part of what needs healing, for heaven's sake!

When I read about various Dan Hughes case studies, a lot of valuable things can happen between the therapist and the parent....even if the Princess just sits there. Seems to me.

When I first went to therapy with Maxim, he refused to say a thing. The therapist had me come in and we had some fair sessions - mainly me just filling him in on background - until one day I really think the Holy Spirit intervened - because suddenly I was speaking FOR Maxim....saying things that I suddenly understood that I hadn't even realized before. The greatest thing that happened there was that Maxim suddenly realized that I did care for him, and understood him, and would defend him, too. It was almost miraculous - the change that occurred in OUR relationship after that.... It laid the foundation for all of the good things that happened between us in later years...until this day. And - for all intents and purposes (apart from agreeing to sit in the room) he was not "participating" in therapy at all - but he was listening.

Trauma Mama T said...

Thank you, CherubMama.

Lain - I like the idea of the therapist and I interacting, even if The Princess chooses to sit there. I actually come from an acting background, but I hesitate to "act" in front of The Princess. I "put on" to make light of things, but she's been so hurt by so many people that have lied to her, I'm afraid she see the acting as lying. And I know she'd see right through the acting. But I REALLY LIKE the point you made about the adults in her life choosing to do nothing! REALLY, REALLY LIKE THAT. That might actually break through to her!

Trauma Mama T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trauma Mama T said...

Hi Annie - I am in the sessions with The Princess. Our therapist wouldn't stop seeing her for just a couple of wasted sessions. This has been building over the last few months. We're all frustrated.

I will talk with the therapist about US talking. Maybe I can speak for The Princess, too. Maybe God will intervene for us like He did for you and Maxim. I can pray for that.

DeeChloRox said...

I will be praying. I would have interrupted the worker and said, "You and Princess don't have enough power to make that decision. I pay the therapist. And I'm the mom." Then I would turn to Princess and said, "You will go to therapy." I've had to tell police, Dee's therapist, teachers, etc., "No, I make decisions here." And Dee needed to see me do it. Or you could have choked that worker, in a loving Christian way, of course!

Trauma Mama T said...

I wasn't with the social worker and The Princess or I would have done just that. Since it was just The Princess telling me, I told her she was continuing therapy one way or the other. Thanks for the affirmation.

Jo said...

Praying for the princess and your family.

MamaPoRuski said...

Praying! It took O 6 months to warm up to the counselor with trust before any real "work" could be done. Having to stop in mid stream only reinforces the behaviors and not needing to trust adults!